Expert tells about impact of pandemic on economy of Turkmenistan

Valentin Trapeznikov highlighted that, in comparison with other countries, the economic indicators of Turkmenistan look good.

Novel coronavirus pandemic had a negative impact on the economies of many countries in the world. Amid this situation, the indicators of the economy of Turkmenistan look very good. It is related to several measures taken by the country’s government. On August 5, as a part of an interview for the observer of Turkmenistan’s economy Valentin Trapeznikov spoke about the main trends in the development of the relevant sector of the state in the current conditions.

Valentin, how has the coronavirus pandemic affected the global economy?

According to the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the global GDP in 2020 due to the growth of coronavirus activity will fall by 4,9%, the GDP fall in the Eurozone will exceed 10%, the USA — 8%, Japan — 5,8%, Russia — 6,6%. Saudi Arabia — 6,8%. According to the forecasts, GDP in Germany will fall by 7,8%, in France, Italy and Spain by 12.5 -12.8%, and in Great Britain by 10,2%. At the same time, in China, after a sharp reduction in the first quarter, the relevant growth will reach 1%.

According to experts from the World Bank, the global economy will fall by 5,2%, in the United States — by 6,1%, the Eurozone — by 9,1%, in Russia — by 6%. Economic activity in developed countries will fall by 7% for the first time in 60 years.

What can you tell about the economic situation in Turkmenistan amid this background?

The negative external factors related to the pandemic, of course, had an impact on our country. First of all, it is caused by a decrease in global demand for export items of the country. The indicators of the mining and manufacturing industries are decreased due to the forced closure of borders, which led to interruptions in import supplies of technological equipment. Several measures taken by the Cabinet of Ministers influenced the transport industry — its international and transit potential. Despite the decrease of the macro- and microeconomic indicators of some industries, in general, the national economy remains positively dynamic.

What are the main trends in the development of the economy of Turkmenistan in the first half of 2020?

According to the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, the gross domestic product grew by 5,9% compared to the previous year. It’s slightly lower than the indicator of the first half of 2019 — 6,3%. However, this decline is not so catastrophic. GDP growth by the end of 2020, in my opinion, should be above 5%.

Considering the first half of 2019, production increased by 4,4%. At an extended government meeting, officials noted that the plan for the production of products and services in the construction and industrial sector was fulfilled by 112,8%, at the Ministry of Construction and Architecture — by 107,4%, the Energy Ministry — by 113,9%. The plan for oil and gas condensate production was fulfilled by 107,6%.

The growth of production in the agroindustrial complex reached 115,7%. According to the ministry, 1.4 million tons of grain were harvested this year. In the first 6 months of 2020, 66% of the structure of production came from the private sector.

However, the agency Türkmenhowaýollary fulfilled its plan only by 61%. That caused by the actual cancellation of international flights. The overall plan of cargo transportation by road, rail, air, and sea reached 99,2%.

In January-June 2020, the volume of retail trade compared to the same period last year increased by 13,8%. In this area, there is a decrease in the flow of imported goods due to temporary border closures.

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected the economy of Turkmenistan. But the data presented above demonstrates the effectiveness of countermeasures taken by the state authorities.

05 08 2020, 16:21
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